From high school to the NFL Draft: Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.

From high school to the NFL Draft: Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.

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From high school to the NFL Draft: Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.

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Mario Edwards talks to the media at the 2015 NFL Combine. (Photo: Trevor Ruszkowski, USA TODAY Sports)

Mario Edwards Jr. talks to the media at the 2015 NFL Combine. (Photo: Trevor Ruszkowski, USA TODAY Sports)

As the NFL draft nears, USA TODAY High School Sports will look back at the high school careers and draft prospects for some of the top players. Here is today’s installment on Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards:

PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS:

T.J. Yeldon, Alabama

Jameis Winston, Florida State

Landon Collins, Alabama

Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri

Shaq Thompson, Washington

Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma

Andrus Peat, Stanford

Ronald Darby, Florida State

Arik Armstead, Oregon

PLAYER PROFILE:

MARIO EDWARDS JR.

Position: Defensive end

High school: Ryan, Denton, Texas

ALL-USA history: Named to the first team in 2011, when 32 of his 72 tackles were for loss, including 11 sacks. As a junior, he had 127 tackles and 50 tackles for loss.

College: Florida State

Height, weight: 6-2, 279 pounds

Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. defends against the Oregon Ducks in the 2015 Rose Bowl. (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports)

Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. defends against the Oregon Ducks in the 2015 Rose Bowl. (Photo: Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports)

By the numbers: Set single-season highs as a senior at FSU with 44 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, five pass break-ups and two forced fumbles.

Draft positives: Possesses an elite combination of size, strength, power and quickness. Versatile defender who wore several hats for Seminoles’ strong defensive unit. Flows toward the action and makes quick reads when engaged with a blocker. Plays with a low center of gravity, understands the leverage game and how to position his body against a blocker. Explosive in a short space.

Draft negatives: Does not have that extra gear as an edge rusher. Won’t beat the athletic pass blockers to the edge. Lack of speed shows up the further into space he gets. Not a stout defender against the double team.

Projection: Round 2/3

What he says: “I feel comfortable basically with anything with my hand in the dirt, whether it’s a three technique, four or five. I’ve never played in the NFL, so if they say I need to gain weight to play and take on the double teams, then that’s what I have to do.”

Draft analysis by Dan Shonka, Ourlads.com

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From high school to the NFL Draft: Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr.
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